Mount Clemens, Clawson to square off in bout featuring teams with combined five league titles the last three years
They’re in the same division now, but when the Mount Clemens and Clawson boys basketball teams face off at 7 p.m. Jan. 31 at Mount Clemens, it’ll be a matchup of teams that, combined, have won five league titles the last three seasons.
The Bathers are three-time defending champs of the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division. The Trojans, new to the Gold this season, went 24-4 in winning the MAC Silver the last two years.
In the teams’ first matchup Jan. 8 at Clawson, Mount Clemens came out on top 81-59.
Mount Clemens, 8-1 overall and 3-1 MAC Gold at press time, is in line for a fourth straight league title, despite attrition due to graduation. Clawson — 4-5, 1-2 MAC Gold — is still trying to find its footing in the league after the loss of several key players to graduation.
“I think we’re about 55 percent of where I think we should be,” said Jackson, in his first year with the Bathers. “We’ve got some little things to work on on both ends of the floor, so that’s what we’ll be looking to work on every game from here until the playoffs.”
Trojans coach Rob Fulgenzi said his team is playing good basketball after a slow start. At press time, Clawson had won two of three games after a 1-4 stretch.
Fulgenzi added his team will need to go all-out for 32 minute if it hopes to beat Mount Clemens, which was outscoring opponents by 17.8 points per game. He said the Trojans can’t afford to let up at any point during the game.
“This is the start of the second half of our league schedule, so a win over Mount Clemens would be a huge confidence-builder for our team as we head down the stretch and into districts, where we’ll face some tough teams,” Fulgenzi said.
“We were down five late in the third the first time we played (Mount Clemens), and we had a few sloppy possessions. Next thing you know, we’re down 13.”
Jackson said his Bathers must perform within themselves and not try to do too much on the court. He said boxing out and other minor things still must be tightened up if Mount Clemens is to be a serious contender for a Michigan High School Athletic Association Class C state title.
“I know people might look at it like I’m being hard on them,” Jackson said, “but what we work on now, we need to have right by the playoffs. That’s what we use each game to get ready for.”
At press time, Mount Clemens was averaging 71.8 points while allowing 54.0.
Clawson had been tallying 54.8 points and allowing 58.7.
Both teams are 1-1 in games decided by three points or fewer.